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Chicago’s full City Council may vote during next week’s monthly council meeting on on a gun measure that was passed Sept. 3 by the council’s Police and Fire Committee.

Chicago’s full City Council may vote during next week’s monthly council meeting on on a gun measure that was passed Sept. 3 by the council’s Police and Fire Committee. Anyone caught possessing an illegal firearm would get a minimum five-day jail stay on the first offense. Repeat offenses would carry up to a six-month stay, according to the ordinance introduced by Ald. Isaac Carothers (29th), chairman of the Police and Fire Committee, and a few other West Side aldermen. Carothers said the ordinance was born out of the recent rash of shootings on the West Side. “We need to send the message to not carry weapons in the city illegally,” the West Side alderman said, adding that oftentimes when gang members get caught carrying firearms, jail time is not in the equation. A second offense would earn a minimum 15-day sentence and a minimum 30-day stay will be imposed for subsequent offenses. Six months is the maximum penalty, and fines for carrying firearms would increase to $300. Those authorized by state law –– including police and jail guards –– to carry firearms are exempt. The ordinance may go up for City Council vote at the Sept. 9 meeting. ______ Copyright 2009 Chicago Defender. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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